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Workspan – Raising The Bar of Your Incentive Plan with Automatic Goal Setting

By Marc Hodak When I was a newly-minted MBA, my boss came to me and said “The Big Guy”— his boss and the head of our division — had suggested I pull together our division budget for the next year. So, I eagerly applied what I had learned in…

Read More > 02.06.2019


Five Investor Voting Trends on Environmental, Social and Governance Proposals

Introduction Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are on the top of executives’ and boards’ minds and continue to capture the attention of the world’s largest institutional investors. Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, in his 2017 letter to CEOs stated, “Companies must ask themselves: What role do we play in…

Read More > 01.17.2019



Forbes – Dare To Be Different – Strategic Compensation Plans

I’m often asked why so many executive compensation plans look the same. The answer is that in the post-Dodd-Frank era, proxy advisor policies and even investor guidelines have created a rules-based environment within which to design executive compensation programs. This pushes most companies to adhere to a common formula,…

Read More > 01.03.2019


Forbes – Perspectives Of Gwen McDonald, Seasoned Human Resources Executive: A Look Back And Look Forward

By Robin Ferracone This post was originally published on As far back as I can remember, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gwen McDonald. McDonald recently retired from the executive vice president of human resources role at Network Appliances, Inc. (“NetApp”), and prior to that…

Read More > 12.21.2018


ESG Shareholder Proposal Findings That Will Surprise You

Thank you to Proxy Insight Ltd that provided data for this Farient Brief. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) proposals continue to make the rounds. Some of the world’s most influential investors, including State Street, Vanguard and BlackRock, are raising the bar on corporate responsibility. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s…

Read More > 12.05.2018


The Seven “Deadly Sins” for Compensation Committee Agendas in 2019

Compensation Committee Agendas. In the spirit of the holiday season that precedes proxy season, we have developed our “Seven Deadly Sins for Compensation Committees in 2019” that are bound to place you on Santa’s naughty list should you make the mistake of not avoiding them. Our list, which includes specific…

Read More > 11.27.2018


Director Pay: A Close Look at the Trends

Executive pay gets plenty of attention in the press and from shareholders. Whether it’s the top 10 pay disclosures of the year or the latest severance package of a big company CEO, the story is sure to garner headlines. As if CEO pay isn’t enough, director pay is now starting to…

Read More > 10.09.2018


Farient Alert: SEC Rescinds Guidance Providing Regulatory Support for Using Proxy Advisors

On Thursday, the SEC rescinded two guidance letters from 2004 that will potentially reduce the influence that ISS has on, among other things, Say-on-Pay votes. These guidance letters informed investment managers that outsourcing their proxy voting decisions to proxy advisors would satisfy their obligations as fiduciaries to vote their shares…

Read More > 09.19.2018


Board Diversity Legislation: What You Need to Know

Diversity on corporate boards continues to be a pressing topic. According to research from Catalyst, Women on Boards 2020 and a recent study from McKinsey, gender diverse boards are 21 percent more likely to experience above-average performance. This, in turn, continues to push investors to demand that companies diversify…

Read More > 09.18.2018


See what Seven Months of the CEO Pay Ratio Looks Like

After the initial rush of proxy season, CEO pay ratio disclosures continue to trickle in. We highlighted the fact that sector and staffing strategy, and the associated employee pay, significantly influence the reported ratio. We also suggested that comparisons across companies would continue to be difficult given latitude in acceptable…

Read More > 08.15.2018


A Deep Dive on This Year’s Say on Pay Results

It’s hard to believe, but the eighth year of Say on Pay has come and gone. Despite legislative threats to other provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, it appears that the areas concerning executive pay are safe for now. In this Farient Brief, we’ll look at Say on Pay results and…

Read More > 07.13.2018


Initial Readings of the CEO Pay Ratio

Nearly eight years after it was mandated by Dodd-Frank, the CEO Pay Ratio is making its debut. To date, about half of the S&P 500 and a third of the Russell 3000 have reported their figures. In this Farient Brief, we review pay ratios reported through April 15, diving deeper…

Read More > 05.07.2018

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